Wednesday, April 10, 2013

No. 5 - - Pleurocoelus of Texas ... or is it Paluxysaurus?

[5]Pleurocoelus – Texas (1997)/maybe Paluxysaurus?

So … this is an awkward situation. It sounds like Texas adopted the Pleurocoelus (a brachiosaurid) back in ’97, but paleontologists “screwed up Texas’s plans” by suggesting that Pleurocoelus is actually an already identified species called Astrodon, which Maryland adopted as their own state fossil in ’98.

This means, for a few years, Texans were happy to have the 15-ton obscurity representing their state, until they learned that they’d adopted a species that might actually be a different species that someone else had already staked a claim to.

“Well, shit,” thought Texas. *

 *I’m speculating and paraphrasing

So since 2009 Texas has been mulling over the idea of replacing Pleurocoelus/Astrodon with Paluxysaurus, which is kind of neat, in terms of its placement in sauropod evolution (if Texans believe in that sort of thing).

Paluxysaurus is believed to represent the evolutionary turning point between brachiosaurids and titanosaurs, which were the lineage of sauropods that would survive until the extinction event that ceased the existence of all dinosaurs shortly thereafter.


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